Friday, October 10, 2014

Oh, the Wind Blew East

One of the things I actually really enjoy doing is going to music workshops on Saturdays.  Call me crazy - it's really my only day off with work from Monday-Friday and church responsibilities on Sundays - but these workshops get me so energized that I go back to work so excited and I truly believe that they make me a better teacher.  Naturally, I don't go every Saturday - it ends up being maybe once every couple of months or so. :)

Anyway, I went to an Orff workshop last year.  Julie Scott was the presenter, and she was absolutely amazing!  She shared this wonderful song with us:


There are actually several different versions of this song out there.  It originated, as far as I can tell, in the Bahamas, where the lyrics were a little different:

1

Oh, the wind blow east,
The wind blow west,
The wind blow the Sunshine
Right down in town.
2
Oh, the wind blow the China
Right down in town.
Oh, the wind blow the China
Right down in town.
3
Oh, the wind blow east,
The wind blow west,
The wind blow the Settin' Star
Right down in town.


Apparently, the "Sunshine," "China," and "Settin' Star" are sloops that had been blown ashore by hurricane-force winds.  But then, as many folk songs do, it kept getting changed and adapted as time went on.  I also found this version in my research:


And this one:

What a great song to use in October!  I know that many music teachers teach in a Halloween-sensitive environment, where more and more we are asked to not teach songs about witches or ghosts, or things like that, but this one is great for talking about fall leaves blowing into town!

So many great things about it - I've used it with my little ones for talking about high and low voices (the first version, on the Whoo-oos!).  I've used it for talking about fast and slow, since there are two tempos for this song.  And best of all is when you dramatize this song!  At the workshop, I learned it this way:  you can have half of your kids act as leaves, and half act as the wind.  The leaves lay on the ground, but as the wind blows them, they roll into town.  Then, you can have the kids switch.  So much fun!

I've also adapted it to where I got little fabric leaves at the dollar store, and the kids try to blow them "into town," or a designated area.  I've split them up into teams to see who could blow their leaves the quickest - rule is that they cannot touch the leaves, only blow.  They absolutely love it!

You could also adapt this song so many different ways:  in winter, you could have the wind blow the snowflakes, in the spring it could blow the raindrops, in summer, it could blow dandelions....you get the picture :)  You could also have your kids improvise whatever the wind is blowing.

Here are a couple of videos with different versions of this song:






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